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Apple iPad VS. Android Tablet: At Work and at Home

Mar 14, 2012 9:37 AM, By Jason Bovberg

Tablet computing is the wave of the future. Which one is best for your connected environment?

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If you want a glimpse of how tablets may—or may not—be poised to integrate into professional AV systems, let’s consider how each of them integrates into the home AV system.


True to the aforementioned proprietary nature of the iPad, Apple offers the ability to use the device in home AV scenarios, but largely with its own equipment. In the home, once you have invested in Apple TV—which provides a central computing hub for your audio and video media—you can download the Airplay app and turn your iPad (or iPhone or iPod touch) into an entertainment-control device. You can then stream music, photos, and videos to Apple TV from the device, and vice versa. You own the content in each place. But you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem, which, admittedly, many people consider to be a great thing.

However, this presents a true dilemma in the professional world, where systems are guaranteed not to be Apple-centric. Many end-users, and customers of end-users, will be carrying iPads and other iOS devices, in a phenomenon sometimes called BYOD (bring your own device). And there are ingenious professional AV applications already that incorporate the iPad. Presonus Studio Live comes to mind.


Just as the Android tablet in business scenarios provides a multitude of options with various connectivity options and display types, the Android tablet at home provides a messy but powerful range of opportunities. Thanks to the Android tablet’s plethora of I/O ports, you can hook into any number of hardware solutions from many manufacturers, using generic cables, and you can connect wirelessly for remote control. And thanks to the open architecture of the onboard OS, literally anyone can write an app that can transform the tablet into a feature-rich, customizable control center for your home AV.

One of the premier Android media-control app creators is Griffin Technology, whose wireless Beacon universal remote control system pairs with the tablet via Bluetooth to enable complete control over the entire home entertainment system; Vizio is even building an Android tablet with an infra-red blaster and remote-control technology built in. If you’re looking for a home-automation solution for the whole house, check out Control4, whose MyHome apps work securely with your various connected systems over your home Wi-Fi network. These kinds of app innovations are occurring almost daily in the Android world.

Tablet computing in general is not, at the moment, poised to replace desktops and laptops in the business environment. Neither are tablets replacing home systems. The coming tide of ultrabook computers might go further in that regard. But tablets are certainly rising in prominence. Over the next few years, expect them to come into their own both at home and at work. Now’s the time to prepare and do your research.

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